It's just a hunch, but I don't think Oracle is happy with the way they've communicated their cloud computing message to the development community, especially to those full-stack developers who are wont to inject cloud based resources into every project they touch. The desire to communicate their cloud computing message, along with generating awareness amongst full-stack developers as to exactly what's available to them from the Oracle cloud, no doubt has provided the impetus for these Oracle Code conferences.
Oracle cloud and the full-stack developer
"These are one day events where we get to talk to developers about what's important to them, and about what's happening in terms of technologies, practices and trends" said Java Champion and Oracle Technology Director Stephen Chin. Toronto's Oracle Code conference agenda was peppered with plenty of cloud and DevOps related buzzwords, but there were also plenty of down-to-earth sessions about things like JDBC, non-blocking APIs, functional programming and web component development that would appeal to the true developer who wanted to leave the conference with some real knowledge that could be practically applied to the projects upon which they are currently working.
"We started in San Francisco, then we did Austin, New York, Washington DC and now Toronto. Later in the week we will do London," said Oracle Vice President Deepak Patil. Sao Paulo, Prague, Tokyo and Berlin are just a few of the future destinations for this Oracle Code conference that brands itself with the tag line Live to Code.
Oracle Code hits Toronto
As for the Toronto event? It was an impressive and overwhelming success. The morning keynote was standing room only, and every time a knowledge session was about to begin, the event staff were clamoring for extra chairs to accommodate the overflow demand. If the Oracle Code attendance numbers didn't violate any of the City of Toronto's fire code regulations, I'm pretty sure it came uncomfortably close to it.
But as was mentioned, the hunch is that a primary goal for these Oracle Code conferences is to spread Oracle's cloud computing message to both full-stack and traditional Java EE developers. Oracle's done a pretty good job at describing their cloud native vision to those who reside higher up the management chain, but in this modern world of DevOps, the full-stack developers are the ones driving the introduction of cloud based technologies into the application lifecycle management (ALM) chain, not the middle managers. If there's a cloud based caching technology, or Lambda service, or data storage facility a developer likes, they'll start using it, often without explicit permission, figuring it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. It's those people with whom Oracle needs to generate awareness.
The hearts and minds of full-stack developers
It's not good enough to win over the hearts and minds of PMs and VPs. To actually see widespread adoption, the full-stack developers have to start bringing Oracle's cloud based technology into the development stream early, make it part of the continuous integration and continuous delivery process, and gain confidence with it so there's no hesitation when it comes time to go into production. This Oracle Code conference series is an honest and effective way to do just that.
The Oracle Code conference still lists a number of cities on its near term horizon. I strongly recommend anyone who is within a reasonable distance of the event to take the day off and attend. I've been to quite a few conferences in my time, and I have a pretty high bar in terms of which conferences I think are worth attending and which ones are not. This one strikes a great balance at being both intimate and informal, while at the same time providing expert and focused content that a full-stack developer would find useful. If you Live to Code, it's worth attending.
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